UC Access October 4, 2012
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UCAOA Members on the Move Practice Management Certified Urgent Care Program JUCM Industry


Urgent Care Managers, it's time to take charge of your career!
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Fifty-eight urgent care management professionals are currently working towards their UCMC certificate. UCAOA's Urgent Care Management Certificate program is designed to improve and recognize your proficiency in the core competencies of Center Management. Completing the UCMC Program helps provide the confidence to lead your urgent care center to the next level of excellence.

Get started today by completing the application.

Members on the Move

BCBSNC invests in FastMed Urgent Care
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Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) recently forged a meaningful collaboration with UCAOA member FastMed, which includes a minority investment in the urgent care company. This collaboration and investment will go toward expanding the FastMed service footprint to reach even more patients with our own special brand of patient-centered healthcare. For more information, click here.

Practice Management

What Urgent Care Owners Need to Know About Office Parties
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In a special October bonus article, Alan Ayers, UCAOA's Practice Management Content Advisor, provides urgent care operators the information they need to make informed decisions when planning their holiday activities, including five important steps to mitigate risks and ensure the party is a "success." Click here for the article!

Certified Urgent Care Program

Newly Certified Centers
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Fifty-two more facilities just received the Certified Urgent Care (CUC) designation ... that puts the total number of Certified centers at 484! The CUC program helps the public identify urgent care centers and promotes and advances the urgent care industry. Each certified center has met specific nationally standardized criteria which clearly describe the level of services provided.

For a list of all certified urgent care centers, visit www.ucaoa.org/certification.


Now Online in JUCM
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A systematic approach to patient history is important when parents present to an urgent care center with an infant who cries excessively. That's one of the take-home messages from this month's cover story, by Toni Clare Hogencamp, MD. Estimates indicate that infants cry about one to two hours per day but inconsolable crying can have an etiology that is benign — or serious. Urgent care providers must rule out the most acute and life-threatening illness or injuries in such cases. To read the article, turn to "An Urgent Care Approach to Excessively Crying Infants," on page 9 JUCM online (or in print).

The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine supports the evolution of urgent care medicine by creating content that addresses the clinical practice of urgent care medicine and the practice management challenges of keeping pace with an ever-changing healthcare marketplace. Are you an urgent care provider who would like to write for our journal? Send an email to editor@jucm.com for information on our author guidelines.

Industry News

Health insurers betting on urgent care centers
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As insurers seek ways to control the price point at the entry level of the healthcare system, health plans such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Pittsburgh are turning to developing urgent care center networks. As cost pressure has risen, the typical ways of reducing demand increased copayments and high deductible health plans have not reduced the demand for medical services. Investing in UCCs puts health plans closer to the point of care where they can more directly influence treatments and healthcare costs, explains David Windley, a Nashville-based research analyst with Jeffries & Company. Profit, in other words, is not the primary goal. More

Hospitals face fines over too many readmitted Medicare patients
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Medicare will start fining hospitals that have too many patients readmitted within 30 days of discharge due to complications. The penalties are part of a broader push under President Barack Obama's healthcare law to improve quality while also trying to save taxpayers money. More

Patient interest in online services, retail clinics is growing
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Patients are satisfied with the treatment they receive, but providers will need to offer additional services as they become more involved as healthcare consumers, according to a Harris Interactive survey. More

Airport clinic is part of cure for what ails Walgreen
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United Continental Holdings Inc. will open a health clinic for its 10,000 employees at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport early in 2013, a major win for Walgreen Co., which is looking to increase revenue outside its retail pharmacies, where sales have struggled recently. The agreement with Walgreen subsidiary Take Care Health Systems also underscores the resurgence in on-site corporate clinics, a trend that started about a decade ago but hit a recessionary pothole. More

Kaiser study: EHRs improve patient outcomes
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Physicians who use EHRs are more likely to identify diabetic patients who need more intense drug treatment, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente. Similarly, EHR use was linked to better management of disease risk factors and greater improvements among patients with poor control of their diabetes and lipid levels. The study is the first to demonstrate how EHRs aid clinicians in better targeting treatment changes and follow-up testing for diabetic patients. More

Study: Patients like reading their doctors' notes
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Both doctors and patients gave high marks to a program allowing patients to access their primary care physicians' office notes online, in a new study. Researchers at three U.S. practices found doctors' initial concerns about the extra time it would take to write out notes and answer patients' related questions didn't pan out. More

Botox for chronic migraine brings cost savings
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Roughly 40 percent of the cost of six months of onabotulinumtoxinA for the treatment of chronic migraine is offset by resultant decreased use of emergency departments, urgent care facilities and migraine-related hospitalizations, according to a prospective, cost-benefit study conducted in clinical practice. Moreover, the figure undoubtedly underestimates the total savings by a considerable margin because it includes only migraine-related direct medical costs for emergency department and urgent care visits and hospitalizations. More

Clinics slam the door on insurer
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San Antonio-based Texas MedClinic, which operates a chain of urgent care clinics, announced it's severing ties with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas following a dispute over reimbursement rates. The decision means that at least in Bexar County, 273,000 residents won't be able to use their Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance at any of Texas MedClinic's 14 locations starting Oct. 18. Texas MedClinic has been a network provider with BCBS, the state's largest health insurer, since 2007. More

IT staff shortages may short circuit meaningful use
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As providers implement electronic health records and prepare to meet Meaningful Use requirements to qualify for federal EHR incentive payments, a new poll from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives shows that 59 percent of CIOs believe IT staff shortages either will definitely or possibly affect their chances of qualifying for incentive payments. That's an improvement over 2010, however, when 70 percent said staff shortages would affect their ability to qualify for federal funds. More


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